Did you know that the longest-running hiccup episode lasted 68 years? Luckily, the average is way shorter than that at 5 minutes. Regardless, they can be an annoyance no matter how long you hiccup.
If you do start hiccuping you should know some tricks to help get rid of them as fast as possible. Although most of these remedies are not scientifically proven, they are still worth a shot.
Here are the 7 most common ways how to stop hiccups.
What Causes Hiccups?
Before you learn how to stop hiccups, first you should understand what is causing them.
It occurs because of your diaphragm. When this muscle is irritated then it will begin to spasm. This action forces air up into the throat causing a hiccup sound.
The most common reasons that the diaphragm is agitated are:
- Eating too quickly or too much
- Being exposed to stressful situations
- Getting excited emotionally
- Consuming spicy foods
- Exposing your body to a quick change in temperature
- Drinking alcoholic or carbonated beverages
If hiccups won’t stop and you did not do one of the above actions then there could be a more serious factor to consider. Hiccups could be a sign of an underlying condition like a tumor, cardiac problems, or hyperglycemia. If they do last more than 48 hours then you should see a doctor.
Otherwise, minor and normal hiccups can be handled at home with one of these remedies for how to stop hiccups fast.
1. Holding Your Breath
Try holding your breath for 10 seconds to see if you can stop the air from rising into your throat. Taking deep slow breaths might also help calm your diaphragm.
2. Gargling Water
Taking a small amount of water in your mouth and gargling it might work too. Some wise tales even suggest drinking upside down, but this should be done with caution to avoid choking.
3. Drinking Water Fast
Gulping water might also cure those hiccups since you are pushing more air down into your throat with the help of water. Proceed with care as to avoid water going down the wrong pipe, so to speak. with care as to avoid water going down the wrong pipe, so to speak.
4. Eating Something Sweet or Sour
Sweets can calm the vagus nerve that connects the parasympathetic nervous system, which may help relieve muscle spasms. You can even buy lollipops like hiccupops.com to help relieve hiccups. Sour foods like vinegar are known to reset the diaphragm’s regular movement to stop sporadic convulsions.
5. Pulling your Tongue
The tongue is also connected to the vagus nerve. So, pulling on it gently could stimulate it and calm the nervous system.
6. Using a Straw to Drink
This method of how to stop the hiccups is similar to gulping water. However, it might be easier and safer to use a straw to get enough water into your throat without taking in too much.
7. Swallowing a Teaspoon of Sugar
By putting sugar on your tongue and swallowing it, you are using two nonstop hiccup remedies. The sugar activates the vagus nerve through the tongue. Then the sweetness of the sugar further calms the nerves.
How to Stop Hiccups from Happening
The best way how to stop hiccups is to prevent them from happening. Try to eat small meals that are not very spicy. Also, practice stress-relieving exercises like deep breathing to keep the nerves calm.
Check our Health section for more at-home remedies.